Junior (College 3rd year) ・Psychology ・APA ・3 Sources

Depression is the feeling of severe despondency and dejection and starts with self-doubt before developing to be called so. The condition is shared among the old, and whenever it attacks, it leads to severe circumstances and consequences. The symptoms of depression affect aspect of life, appetite, hobbies, sleep, energy and even relationships. However, most aged people don't recognize the situation because it is always overlooked. The ones who have the responsibility of taking care of them assume the symptoms come due to aging and the latter makes the aged not to be free to express their feelings or even ask for help.

In older adults, depression can be caused by fears of brokenness or death and recent bereavement. That can be from fellow friends who are old, family members, and their pets. Moreover, the seniors are always isolated hence find themselves living alone, making them feel lonely. Other causes are health issues and a reduced sense of purpose. Illness for the old still leads to disability hence making it hard to accept the situation at the early age.

Furthermore, some medical conditions have contributed significantly to increase of victims of the situation. Mostly, chronic conditions that are life-threatening or very painful worsen the symptoms. For example, diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Commonly, the side effects of the drugs add up because bodies of older people are less efficient at metabolizing and processing of medicine. The condition can be worsened by providing them with sleeping pills, drugs that have the high content of cholesterol, blood pressure drugs, heart drugs that have reserpine and steroids.

There are several signs and symptoms that when seen, it is evident that one is suffering from depression. Most old people tend to have memory problems, slowed movements and speech in that one need to be keen to understand whatever message they might be passing. They also neglect personal care by assuming personal hygiene, skipping meals and medications. Others indulge themselves in alcohol, and other drugs use that leads to suicidal fantasies. When some get to an age where they must wholly depend on the close family members for survival, there is always a feeling of low self-worth because of worries of being a burden. There is also a feeling of despair, hopelessness, helplessness, and sadness still. Moreover, some lack sleeps entirely or oversleep even during daytime.

However, the seniors they never complain of sadness when depressed as it is common in other class of depressed people. Instead, they dwell more on physical attacks such as severe headaches, lack of energy to perform tasks that were done before and low motivation. Also, there is grieve for the losses incurred. For example, independence and long-term career. The lamentations come up when they discover that no one has the capability of providing all the benefits entirely as before.

Differentiating between dementia and depression is critical. Most people find it hard to distinguish the two because the symptoms are almost the same. Both are always associated with mental problems such as low motivation, slow speech, and movement. However, some slight differences are seen through a keen study. For example, when one is depressed the language and skills are slow but normal whereas the in dementia the writing motor and speaking skills are very much impaired. Hence, it's very vital to take a keen eye on that or else one could be handling an entirely different situation.

Whenever the symptoms lead to stigma, it becomes so difficult to handle the old. From ‘The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry' study on adults' stigma was carried out. The study as carried out by random calling by using the 248 African American and white older adults sample. The aim was to know their attitude towards seeking treatment and factors that contributed significantly to behaviours.

The results showed that the African American older adults authenticated few positive mentalities towards seeking for mental illness as compared to the white. Hence, the stigma that is associated with mental illness has negatively influenced targets of finding health services among the old with depression, more especially the African American elders.

Between the male and female genders, who are the most affected? Before, depression was mostly associated with women because it was linked to the premenstrual syndrome and hormones. However, about six million men fall victims of clinical depression annually. The symptoms in the above case express differently depending on the gender. Suicidal thoughts, apathy, sleep disturbances are frequent in men while women tend to be sensitive to seasonal changes. It is also likely that the females experience anxiety disorders and phobia.

Nonetheless, it’s a myth to have thoughts that at old age, one cannot learn new skills and ideas. Since the brain of a human being never stops changing, it is possible one to learn new concepts even if not as fast the young people and it will help in recovery from depression. It because through the find of new things that are more interesting keeps one connected to the family, neighbours and the loved ones. For example, taking a small walk to inspect progress on little projects around the farm will boost one from depressions.

Maintenance of face to face contact with people is very encouraging. The digital communications don't help significantly because they are short-term, and interactions are limited. It made practical by making organizations of visiting one another always. The old should create welfares of small groups that will support them internally. By that, they get to understand each other correctly more than the interactions with family members alone.

Additionally, connections can be kept by exposing yourself fully to the world. Make visitations to the market, small trips to nearby parks and performance of short exercises around. One can also offer to create voluntary to expand on the social network to the world. Small earnings come from here especially when one gets support from various organizations that are either governmental or non-governmental. Creation of time to enjoy with others is also very crucial. They can be either laughing or even story time sessions. Laughter is the excellent food to the heart due to the mood boost.

Likewise, it is advisable to join depression support groups. When someone realizes that the situation he or she is facing is not monopolistic, there is always significant hope of recovery. Through sharing with those in the same state makes one feel better because there are those in a worse situation as compared to yours. Most old people tend to have pets around. It's healthy when depressed to just the pet, for example, a dog, and take a walk around. The hikes will result in interaction with those with same preference as yours. Hence leading to share ideas.

There is also a significant need for adoption of healthy habits to reduce depression. Frequently, most seniors end up being obese due to the passage of harmful practices and laziness. Performance of small tasks around the compound or adoption of habit short runs at given times is of great help. For the disabled ones, there is safe exercise that can be done in mood boost. When in pain, it is advisable to listen to the body.

 The dietary habits contribute significantly to the reduction of depression. Sugar foods and refined carbs should be avoided. They should be substituted with quality protein foods. For example, turkey which is Thanksgiving bird has the essential protein in the building-block tryptophan that is later used by the body in the manufacture of serotine that is essential in the mood-boosting. Other important foods are Brazilian nuts rich in selenium, carrots that have beta-carotene, clams and mussels source of B-12, coffee that has caffeine for activation and leafy greens rich in folate that boosts the brain cells hence protection against depression.

Support of quality sleep and sunlight basking. Insomnia is rampant in the old people. It’s healthy for them to sleep 7 to 9 hours because they don't have much to do. Their bedrooms should be dark, calm and very quiet to give peace of mind. On the other hand, sunlight boosts the serotine levels and improvs the mood of someone. For those in winter areas, it is good of use the light therapy box.

For the alcohol users, they always state that it gives mental medicine and quick relaxation. However, it provides long-term symptoms that makes the depression feeling worst. It because it contributes to brain impairment and hinders the action of the medications to the body. Hence, the family members who are responsible for taking care of them should ensure consumption of healthy drinks like blended juices from fresh fruits.

For the cases that have gone overboard, there is need to seek medical advice. Firstly, therapy counselling works correctly in this case because it deals with the causes of depression rather than symptoms. The latter assists in healing from losses and mentor through hard emotions. The personals responsible, help in erasing negative thoughts and build optimism in someone. During the sessions where they meet with colleagues who are facing same situations, they get to share openly and give encouragements.

For instance, if an older adult is the depressing show of love and compassion gives emotional support. It's not right to criticize and say it’s because of their old age or any other reason. Listen keenly to the needs and complaints and when there is need to visit a doctor, accompany them to specific hospitals that handle the situations. Always give them hope and make them feel accepted in the community or homes. The old people tend to develop brains like those of young kids hence any silly move leads to significant consequences.

Other ways of helping the elderly depressed are through the preparation of the healthy meals discussed above that will help in the boost of the brain as stated. Make sure that they take the prescribed medications are brought to the latter. Try to explain the importance of following the specified dosages instead of forcing or threatening them. Try to schedule frequent social activities. Whenever the seniors try to resist, listen to their preferred task and assist in the performance. Lastly, encourage them to invite their loved ones for outs and nature walks. It will give them memories of what they used to do in their youthful stages or when they were newly wedded.

For those dealing with side effects of antidepressant prescription, it's crucial to know how to deal with it or else will lead to severe repercussions. When the side effects seem to be a bother, seek consultation from the doctor to help in reduction of the medicine or change the dosage completely. Symptoms of the side effects include chronic allergic reactions or chest pains. It is essential to keep in constant communication with the doctor in case of such symptoms.

In conclusion, all this signs and symptoms that are experienced by the old people must be taken seriously and keenly. Early diagnosis will assist much in the prevention of development of deep depression. Lastly, it is imperative to consider the precautions listed to help the seniors from drowning to the dreaded attack because it leads to death in severe cases.

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  1. Conner, K. O., Copeland, V. C., Grote, N. K., Koeske, G., Rosen, D., Reynolds, C. F., & Brown, C. (2010). Mental health treatment seeking among older adults with depression: the impact of stigma and race. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry18(6), 531-543.
  2. Conner, K. O., Copeland, V. C., Grote, N. K., Koeske, G., Rosen, D., Reynolds, C. F., & Brown, C. (2010). Mental health treatment seeking among older adults with depression: the impact of stigma and race. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry18(6), 531-543.
  3. Fiske, A., Wetherell, J. L., & Gatz, M. (2009). Depression in older adults. Annual review of clinical psychology5, 363-389.
  4. Lin, E. H., Katon, W., Von Korff, M., Tang, L., Williams Jr, J. W., Kroenke, K., ... & Hoffing, M. (2003). Effect of improving depression care on pain and functional outcomes among older adults with arthritis: a randomized controlled trial. Jama290(18), 2428-2429.
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